Finally. An authentic Tendon restaurant in Singapore, and nothing but tendon.
We should have seen some Tendon 天丼 (short for Tempura Donburi 天ぷら丼ぶり) specialty shops in Japan, or perhaps offered as one of the many items in a local Japanese restaurant, but so far nobody in Singapore has made the bold move to sell that alone.
Located right next to Keisuke’s turf ground of Orchid Hotel, Tendon Ginza Itsuki is a collaboration between him and chef-owner Mr Naoki Takaku of Ginza Itsuki Sushi.
Two types of Japanese Tendon are available – Special Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl, $13.90) and Vegetable Tendon (Vegetable Tempura Rice Bowl, $12.90), which is considered value-for-money for the type of ingredients used.
I ordered the Special Tendon ($13.90) which also came with sides of chawanmushi and miso soup.
The sight of that bowl already made me excited – 2 tempura prawns resting on top of a mixture of deep fried vegetables of melon and lady’s finger, slices of chicken breast meat and tempura egg over a bed of rice, covered in light soy dressing, all in an elegant Arita porcelain bowl.
Loved the ebi prawns which were crispy and plump, and a surprise find of an yolk-oozing tempura egg hidden in the midst.
I was divided on the chicken breast meat though. While the pieces had a tender texture almost like fish (I could imagine some customers mistaking the meats up), there could be more seasoning for a tastier bite.
You can sit at the counter and watch the chefs fry ala minute. If you notice, three different fryers are used – 1 for meat and 2 for the vegetables as the different ingredients have different moisture levels and require varied temperatures for frying.
Main feedback is, we left with our shirts smelling quite like tempura.
Queues will start, I can quite guarantee that. [Updated: Queues have started, though if you go at 11:30am prompt especially during the weekends, you should be able to get a seat more easily.]
Tendon Ginza Itsuki
101 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088522 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6221 6678
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pm
Note: Cash only